Miscarriage – It won’t happen to me

Nikki shares the shock of two miscarriages and difficulty of finding information.

Miscarriage is a taboo. No one talks about it. However, when it happens to you, people open up and you find out it is, unfortunately, quite common.

I am a typical thirty something woman who has always wanted children. I followed the conventional route: uni; traveling; career; marriage and then decided to go for it. I had stopped smoking years ago, moved to ‘the house’ and established my career, the timing was perfect.

Luckily, I got pregnant quickly and excitedly went to the 12 week scan. My husband and I were devastated when there was no heartbeat. My baby had not made it past 6 weeks, the term a ‘missed miscarriage’ was now part of our vocabulary. How could I have had a miscarriage, as I had had no bleeding?! I cried for days and was in hospital on Christmas Eve to remove the ‘embryo’.

Following this event, I hid away for weeks at home and quickly discovered that there was very little support out there. My unsympathetic male doctor shrugged his shoulders stating ‘it’s just one of things, nature’s way’. Sadly, due to its common occurrence, the medical professional tends to be quite indifferent. I was furious and obsessively researched online everything I could find on ‘miscarriages’ and specifically ‘missed miscarriages’. I wanted to find out where I had gone wrong. When you have a miscarriage, you feel guilty for that glass of wine and letting the ‘desperate to be grandparents’ down.

Miscarriage is a taboo. No one talks about it. However, when it happens to you, people open up and you find out it is, unfortunately, quite common. One in three pregnancies was the stat that I held onto. I put on a brave face at work and didn’t tell anyone what a horrific Christmas we had had.

Four months later, we were elated to discover that I was pregnant again. I had some spotting this time, so assertively requested a scan at 7 weeks, and there were tears in my eyes when we saw the heartbeat. Still, at 12 weeks, we were nervous wrecks waiting for the scan. We were crushed to hear that I had suffered another missed miscarriage. The medical profession said that this was still ‘normal’ and I should be grateful that I could get pregnant so quickly (which I am). How could this be normal? I did not know of anyone who had suffered two consecutive missed miscarriages; I wanted an answer, which sadly you rarely get with miscarriages.

Panic and insomnia kicked in, how would we ever get past the 12 weeks mark? I brought books on miscarriage in an attempt to self diagnose my ‘problem’, paid for a private consultation with an expert, spent a fortune on Chinese teas, cut out alcohol and caffeine completely. You never know what actually helped, but I did get a lot of comfort from the Miscarriage Association, acupuncture, yoga and a couple of sleeping pills to break the insomnia. My family support was tremendous and got me through some dark days and nights. It’s controversial, but I also took progesterone pessaries, which the medical professional believes does not help in these situations.

I am delighted to say that a year after my first miscarriage I was pregnant for the third time and last July I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. A sympathetic female doctor referred me to a specialist fertility clinic at the local hospital which carried out regular scans during the first trimester. After having missed miscarriages, where there can be no signs of loss, seeing my baby’s heart beat every 3 weeks got us through a very stressful period. I was told that the progesterone pessaries were a placebo, but who cared! It helped my emotional wellbeing.

Looking back, I did not believe it when people said you’ve just been really unlucky. Of course, some poor women go onto to have multiple unexplained miscarriages (15 was the worse that I heard). Fortunately, I was in the lucky majority.

Nikki